Skip to content

Just Right Handweave Purses


Developing a textile for a purpose such as a coin purse isn’t as easy as I first thought.The purse in the previous post was an ikat designed balanced weave in 20/2 cotton, and although it was great using an interfacing I just felt that it wasn’t quite right. I think a slightly heavier interfacing is needed to support the fabric and lining better. After all coins are heavy.The next purse I finished was a larger one using a purse frame that required stitching. Developing a purse shape pattern that said “opulence” with gathers, I used my “peg plan art” silk fabric (developed from the Woven Pixel). This is a yummy fabric but once again I felt like more support was needed.The fabric was originally designed for wraps so it is very soft and drapey.I think the support needed is in a heavier lining so I can retain the richness in the cut and fabric design.The stitched saltwater pearls finished the purse frame.I then went and attacked a more radical weave…and disobeyed all the rules (very unlike me – must be maturity arriving at last).

I made up my own purse pattern again for the frame which worked out really well and fitted perfectly. Using a warp faced fabric I attached the woven interfacing onto the back and cut the purse weft ways instead of on the straight grain. Although this approach would usually weaken the strength of the fabric it seemed to work well here.The interfacing and the purse lining ‘upheld’ the textile, as subsidiary textiles should do for us.

I was pleased with this prototype for several reasons.

1.The fabric itself is my kind of fabric with crisp bright lines, warp painting and high setts (over 100epi).

2.My purse pattern provided a very pleasing shape.

3. The fabric can actually be created on an inkle loom! This is my absolute favourite loom because of its versitility, portability and potential for creativity.
The fabric is created from two strips. (see Conquering the warp from Hell). I made special joins and reinforcement but I found this very exciting. Just as in West African strip weaving, once again the concept of limitation in tools or resources creates inspiring take off points for design.

A “peg plan art” design woven in satins

The woven interfacing

The pattern – Cut 2 plus linings

The preparation

The completed purse

View of how the fabrics meet at the side

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. amanda #

    Karen,
    They are absolutely beautiful.

    April 1, 2008
  2. Jane #

    Absolutely exquisite, Karen.

    April 1, 2008
  3. Thank you, both for sharing the purse and the techniques that helped you get what you want.

    April 2, 2008
  4. Thank you for posting the how-to pics, your purses are inspiring!! I love the all the colors.

    April 2, 2008
  5. Excellent information Kaz. I agree, these little purses are inspiring!

    April 3, 2008
  6. Another lovely set of coin purses.
    what kind of interfacing did you use?
    on another note your feed is not working as it
    hasn’t updated in a while in my reader.

    neki desu

    April 10, 2008

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS